Masters Degree in Contract Management: Program Summary

Oct 19, 2019

If you are interested in a career in contract procurement, you may want to pursue a master's degree in contract management. Get information about program specifics, future professional opportunities, and certification options after graduation.

Essential Information

Master's degree programs in contract management train students in advanced concepts of contract acquisition, procurement, and negotiation. In addition, these programs provide training in state and federal regulations regarding contracting processes, since they are often intended for students who are specifically interested in federal government contracting, although other types of contract management may be covered as well. Upon graduation, students are prepared to pursue professional certifications in the field.

In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree, and prior coursework in statistics, finance and mathematics is considered helpful. Most programs prefer, but rarely require, previous work experience.


Master's Degree in Contract Management

Over the course of these programs, students take theoretical courses, participate in hands-on training exercises such as case-study analyses, and conduct independent research. In master's degree programs in contract management, students may take some of the following courses:

  • Principles of acquisition
  • Government contracting
  • Contract law
  • Contract negotiation
  • Contract pricing
  • Finance management

Popular Careers

Graduates of master's programs in contract management can find entry-level work or advance to leadership positions in the field. Possible job titles include:

  • Government contract specialist
  • Contract administrator
  • Purchasing manager
  • Procurement manager

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), purchasing managers earned an average of $125,630 per year as of 2018. Buyer and purchasing agents earned a median salary of $62,750 per year, with an expected employment decrease of seven percent between 2018 and 2028, which is slower than the national average for all occupations.

Continuing Education Information

There are many certification options available for contract managers, but the most prominent certifying organization is the National Contract Management Association (NCMA). Through the NCMA, professionals can earn one of three designations: Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM), Certified Commercial Contracts Manager (CCCM), or Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM). All certifications require at least a bachelor's degree, professional work experience, and advanced education, such as a master's degree.

A master's program in contract management provides students with theoretical and practical training in the field, along with research opportunities. Graduates may find work as purchasing managers or contract specialists, among other options. They can also pursue voluntary certification, which may enhance career prospects.

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